Jason’s been deployed for three weeks. I meant to do this post at exactly two weeks, and things just exploded all around me, because that’s what happens when you’re flying solo.
The gnome strikes early, and often. Sigh.
After I dropped Jason off, I spent my requisite day and a half to myself, sorting out my feelings, prepping myself for the next 9 months. Truth is, it didn’t feel real, and sometimes it still doesn’t. Those first few days, it seemed like everyone was calling, checking on how I felt, and I really felt like saying:
Why? Because if I’m not calling you to talk about it, chances are I just don’t want to talk about it. Not yet. There’s a certain beauty in denial, in just pushing through, and when I’m in an okay spot, I don’t really want to be reminded that we just started Deployment #4. Not to mention, I’m feeling all over the place. One moment, I’m all:
Then in an hour, I turn around, and sort out whatever small calamity has struck and I’m all:
Like I’m all:
Totally making this deployment my figurative bitch:
But then, well, it adds up, and the next minute, basically, I’m all:
So, yeah. I’m all over the place. One moment, it feels drastically overwhelming that we’re here again, scrambling for phones and skype, and the next, I feel like he’s still here, just ready to walk through our door at any moment. I see him on Skype and it all comes flooding back, just how often we’ve had to do this, and how awful it really is. I hate that he’s there again, where I’m wondering if he’s eating right, and if he’s getting enough sleep, and if people are shooting at him. Yeah. And when Jason asks how things are going, I tell the truth, which is basically, that even though we had 18 months of dwell time, and we knew this was coming at us,
So, enough about me. I’m a freaking super-hero-cape-wearing mama one moment and a veritable basket case the next. But the kids? Holy. Good. God. I know this is normal, that they’re doing the typical “test mom and see if she can really run this house.” Not to mention, in the last three weeks, we’ve dealt with Aaron reinjuring the knee he tore his ACL on last year, three cases of Fiftsh disease, an ear infection on Chase, and his tubes are coming out too early. So basically, this leaves me yelling just about every day:
Aidan has surprised me. For being our most aggressive boy, he’s stepped up. He’s insanely helpful, taking out the trash, bringing down the laundry, everything I could need help with. It’s such a 180 degree from where he usually is, and I’m all:
Brody, is… well, four. So he’s basically nuts all of the time, and I’m scrambling to keep up with him because he’s…..
Which brings us to Chase and Aaron.
Chase. Chase is a daddy’s boy. If there’s a choice to be made, Jason is Chase’s every time. So needless to say that he’s basically a terror right now. And by terror I mean I’m basically dealing with this in boy form:
I’m applying ice to whatever area of Brody he shoved into the wall for the fourteenth time today, and I feel like saying:
So Chase basically has me to where I’m:
But, every night I tell him that the beautiful thing about this life is that tomorrow we get to try again, and start over again. That we can forget every insanely atrocious thing he’s done today, like throwing the spoon at his brother because he wanted a bigger one, or kicking Brody in the shoulder because the ‘Kins tripped and fell on him.
But, I also recognize that Chase is five, and while he’s pretty awful right now, he’s also struggling. So it’s an extra hug, an extra kiss, and a prayer for a better day tomorrow… and I get another case of wine.
Now we move on to Aaron. Aaron, my precious oldest, who I have to admit, I had hoped might step up a wee bit with Jason gone. But… well… he kind of lives in his own little world. So when I’m all:
You know, like putting the clothes IN the hamper instead of next to it (because he’s his father’s son), he looks up from whatever book he’s reading, I believe he’s on Fablehaven, and says:
Yeah. That’s pretty much where he’s at. Sigh. So Mother’s day weekend rolls around. Everyone knows that I’m pretty much a confirmed hermit. I love being home, writing, hanging with my kids and such, because basically:
But since I’m volunteering a bit more, it seems like I’m leaving my house… like every day, all the time, which is a wee bit of a change for me. So, off we go to the Taskforce BBQ, and the way the kids have been acting today, I feel like I’m releasing them on the unsuspecting general public like:
While we’re there, as I’m snagging my purse from where I thoughtlessly left it in someone’s way (because I’m distracted and awful right now), a stranger recognizes me from the blog and then gushes that she and her mom, who’s sitting right there love it. It was a very surreal moment, and if you’re reading this:
Thanks for making my day! Sometimes I forget that there are people outside my FB friends who actually take the time to read these, LOL!
Ahem. So, redeeming point of this weekend? My four greatest Army-Wife gal-pals got together with our enormous group of children and hung out for dinner and playdate time, which, since the guys are all deployed, is a lot of “how are you doing’s?” and “How can I help’s” all around, and then a lot of:
Score. A little bit of sanity to get me through.
Ah yes, mother’s day. When Jason’s gone, I know that Mother’s day is kind of just another day, after all, it’s not you can explain to the four-year-old that you’d really like a day with no fighting. However, the man sent a beautiful arrangement of flowers, so hey, way to love your wife from across the globe! 😉 So, I wake up to Brody covered tail-to-ankle in poo, because he’s tried to accomplish wiping alone, and basically I’m all:
So I get Brody cleaned up and then I hear SHRIEKING from downstairs. Aaron is screaming that a spider has bit him and won’t let go. Let’s clarify how I feel about spiders.
Yeah. So I “man up” and check Aaron out. It’s not a spider, it’s a tick. While we wives were chatting last night, the kids were playing, and well… Aaron brought home a friend. Nothing a pair of tweezers can’t fix. A few minutes and several blood-curdling girl screams later (which did not belong to me), we’re done. Then I go to get Brody dressed and find crayon all over his window, door and doorframe and I’m just… I’m…. just…
So they ask me what I want for Mother’s day, and I tell my sweet little boys, “A day where you don’t fight,” and they smile at me, and I know that in the future, I may see a day without fighting, …
So they immediately go at each other like:
And I spend my day like:
So by about 3:30, they won’t stop kicking each other, and hitting each other, and screaming bloody murder at one another, and I just break down like:
With a very uncool outburst of, “Why can’t you JUST STOP FIGHTING?” And my boys stop, and stare at me like:
And I immediately regret my outburst and subsequent tears. Because I know I’m their only present parent, and that they deserve me at their best. But then the thought tickles, in that sweet Lord, we’re only three weeks into this deployment, and if I can’t control my reactions to their insanity, well…
So I have a moment, and give myself a pep talk that goes a little something like this:
Kids went to bed with lots of hugs and kisses, and we survived another week.
I’d like to say that we’re adjusted, but we’re not. I know it takes us 6 weeks. This isn’t our first ride at the rodeo. Our first week was so seamless, but I think it’s because Jason has been gone so much that it really felt like another TDY. But now, it’s been 3, and it’s starting to sink in that he’s not coming home any time soon. Sigh.
So, really, the first six weeks of a deployment, don’t ask me how I’m doing.
It’s because I don’t know. Right now I’m just trying to get a routine down, a schedule with the boys, a schedule with Jason. I’m trying to run the house with a kind word and a kiss so they know they’re loved, and an iron fist because these boys will mutiny the first chance they get. I get up every morning, and count another day down. I only look at this day, or maybe this week, because the long-term is just a wee bit much for me to handle right now. 9 months may seem like it’s easier than a full year (and if another person says that to me, I swear I’m going to high five you in the face with a chair), but it’s really hard to stomach 9 months of worrying, and not seeing him, knowing what conditions he’s in. So, don’t ask me yet, because I really….
And I sing the deployment motto:
So to all my Tigershark girls who are entering the insanity with me: Just Keep Swimming, ladies. In a few weeks, we’ll pick our heads up, we’ll settle into our grooves, and we’ll start to thrive, because that’s what we do. Here’s the deployment gnome, may he stay far, far away from this house… and yours. 😉 Oh, and when in doubt, after the kids are in bed???
Toast. We’re making it through.